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BY MR. BICKERSTAFF.
What are outward forms and shows,
To an honest heart compar'd ?
Has the nobler portion shar'd.
Oft we see the homely flower
Bearing, at the hedge's side,
Than the garden's gayest pride,
TO-MORROW: OR, THE PROSPECT OF HOPE.
In the downhill of life, when I find I'm dechining,
May my lot no less fortunate be, Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining,
And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea; With an ambling pad-poney to pace o'er the lawn, While I carol
idle sorrow, And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn,
Look forward with hope for to-morrow.
* In the comic opera of the Maid of the Mill."
With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
As the sun-shine or rain may prevail ;
With a barn for the use of the flail.
And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
Nor what honours await him to-morrow.
From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
Secur’d, by a neighbouring hill,
By the sound of a murmuring rill :
peace and plenty I find at my board, With a heart free from sickness and sorrow, With
I share what to-day may afford, And let them spread the table to-morrow.
And when I, at last, must throw off this frail covering,
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten, On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hovering, Nor
my thread wish to spin o'er again : But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow, As this old worn-out stuff which is thread-bare to-day,
May become everlasting to-morrow.*
[This song is here inserted from vol. i. of Mr. Plumptre's col. lection: but the author I apprehend was not the Collins of high poetical celebrity, nor can I offer any biographical report of him. It is possible, however, he may have been the person who some years ago formed a motley entertainment of music and recitation, entitled Collins's Evening Brush.']
THE BRITISH FISHERMAN.
(Imitated from Horace, lib. iii. od. 29.)
BY DR. WATTS.*
Let Spain's proud traders, when the mast
Lest Turkish silks or Tyrian wares
Or the rich dust Peru prepares
Defraud their long projecting cares, And add new treasures to the greedy deep.
My little skiff, that skims the shores,
I trust th' Eternal Pow'r, whose hand
To waft my boat and me to land,
Or give some angel swift command To bear the drowning sailor to the sky.
* [Several of this Christian poet's songs for children, have been most happily set to music by Mr.T. F. Walmisley, and published.]
With any so happy, in this happy nation,
I would not change place, if to change I were free ; Whate'er be their talents, of what occupation,
If poor, or if rich, high or low their degree. Though slender my fortune, of rank I'm not speaking,
I have that which a bounteous Heaven hath sent; For other, or better, I am not for seeking,
I live in a cottage, I'm blest with content.
What though I have cares, which, my mind oft oppressing,
Have pain'd me, at times, since the day of my birth; Yet, to lighten my sorrow, I've many a blessing,
And the man without care doth not live on this earth. Are others more learned ? e’en knowledge brings sorrow,
My talents are such as kind Heaven hath sent ; My wisdom's sufficient this lesson to borrow
A cottage is ample, enjoy'd with content.
At peace with all round me, I've many acquaintance,
One friend I enjoy, and perhaps I've but one ; But those who are blest with a greater abundance,
More needing a friend, ah! perhaps, may have none. My wife was no beauty, nor yet was an heiress,
For better for worse, I receiv'd her as sent; Though homely her person, to me she's the fairest,
And the dower that she brought to our cot was content. Our children are many, all sizes and ages,
Ten in number, like steps round our table they rise,
If learning they miss, they at least may be wise.
So well am I pleas'd with my blessings thus sent,
For the lesson they learn in our cot is content.
To see them all settled and blest, if permitted, 'Tis surely my wish, Heaven grant me my
my eldest by age and by temper is fitted To father my babes, and to husband my wife. But as all in this world, for the best is ordained,
Good or ill, life or death, all by Heaven are sent, O may it be said, that I never complained,
To live or to die, I'm for either content.
Yes, once more that dying strain,
Anna, touch thy lute for me ;
Doubly sweet is Melody.
While the Virtues thus inweave
Mildly soft the thrilling song ;
Glides unfelt, unseen, along,